The first step in the New Testament toward New Jerusalem “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2) was God’s sending of John the Baptist to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Matthew 3:3).
Matthew records many words of the Lord Jesus regarding our hearts.
• We should be pure in heart (v. 5:8), seeking only God and His glory, a glory which consummates in New Jerusalem
• Our treasure should be in the heavens so that our heart may be there also (v. 6:21)
• The Lord Jesus is meek and lowly in heart (v. 11:29) and we can take Him as our lowliness and meekness
• We should never let our heart get fat (calloused, dull, hard) but rather eagerly receive all the Lord’s words that they may grow in our hearts (v. 13:3-23)
• We should not live a life according to traditions but always keep our heart close to the Lord (v. 15:1-9), loving Him and seeking Him
• We apply the Lord’s forgiveness to forgive our brothers from our heart (v. 18:35)
• We feed our fellows slaves with spiritual food, rather than being drunk with worldly people and saying in our heart that our Master delays (v. 24:45-51)
• Above all, we love the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. (v. 22:37)
The Lord says to the church in Ephesus, “I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). The more we love the Lord, the more we take Him as our life supply, symbolized by the tree of life (v. 2:7), which is a prominent characteristic of New Jerusalem (v. 22:2).
Here is a song, “Lord, keep my heart always true to You.” Lord, draw us to love You wholly and purely that we may be supplied by You as our tree of life to prepare us for New Jerusalem.
U.S. Forest Service photo by Robert Westover, Creative Commons 2.0.